BBC Newsnight presenter and economist Evan Davis was named Journalist of the Year at the prestigious European Diversity Awards in London last night (Thursday 02 October).

Davis, shared the honour with Paralympian turned broadcaster Ade Adepitan at the glittering ceremony held at the Natural History Museum.

Established in 2010, the European Diversity Awards celebrate people and organisations with a track record in promoting equality and diversity.

The judging panel, led by Baroness Doreen Lawrence, paid tribute to the work Davis has done as a high profile campaigner on equality issues.

Over 600 guests attended the ceremony which was hosted by newsreader Jane Hill.

Sponsored by Barclays and Google, the awards also saw recognition for corporate giants including Nestle, who were named most inclusive employer, meanwhile technology powerhouse IBM were named Supplier of the Year.

Pharmaceutical leader Novartis won an award for their employee network group. The company has recently expanded its support network for women and employees with disabilities.

Whilst Britain’s armed forces were also rewarded when the Royal Air Force picked up an accolade for their campaign to recruit personnel from a wider range of diverse backgrounds.

There was special recognition for April Ashley. The UK’s first transsexual, who is currently the subject of a pioneering exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award.

The award came as a complete surprise to the 79 year old who was given an MBE in 2012 Birthday Honours for services to transgender equality.

Awards organiser, Linda Riley said: “Everyone who was nominated for a European Diversity Award should rightly feel proud because in their own way they have contributed to making Europe a more tolerant, diverse and just society.

“I am patricianly pleased with the number of businesses who were nominated.  These business leaders are dynamic and reflect the huge efforts corporate organisations are now making to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We should never forget how far we’ve come but there is still much more to do.”

BBC newsreader Jane Hill said: “It was a privilege to present the awards to so many deserving individuals.

“The European Diversity Awards recognise excellence in the areas of gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, race, culture and religion across Europe.

“They are unique in recognising all aspects of diversity across the whole of Europe and celebrate the best across both the corporate and campaigning aspects of diversity.”